Recently I viewed an interview on CNBC with PG&E Chairman and CEO, Peter A. Darbee. It seems that his company has an energy project that uses cow manure as a source for natural gas. Now, I’ve got to tell you that this is a great idea, so long as it is cost effective. It makes good economic sense to make use of this otherwise underused resource.
Unfortunately, however, when Darbee was asked to compare manure sourced natural gas with anthracite coal, he stated that the natural gas burns much cleaner, since the coal produces a whole lot of carbon dioxide – unlike natural gas.
At first I thought this was just a misspoken comment, and that he surely meant that coal produced lots of other pollutants such as sulfur derivatives, nitrogen oxides, and other stuff, whereas natural gas produces primarily carbon dioxide and water vapor. But in the course of the conversation, he said the same thing three times, in slightly different contexts, so that I am left with the distinct feeling that this gent really doesn’t have a clue about this subject.
If Darbee with all of his power and wealth doesn’t understand the concept, how can we expect the regular Joe on the street to understand?